While I wouldn’t call myself a planner addict, I’m definitely a planner aficionado. I used three different methods in 2018: the Happy Planner Girl (standard size), Bloom Planner (academic), and a (non-Midori) Traveler’s Notebook.
Here’s what worked, what didn’t, and what I’m using in 2019.
I love a good time-slip and this book is the perfect blend of history, mystery, and romance. I had a serious book hangover after reading it, and can’t wait to read more by Nicola Cornick (she has a long history as a romance writer, but this is her second work of historical fiction). Her first historical novel, House of Shadows, is equally engaging.
I love blush. I love blush almost as much as I love lipstick (and that’s saying a lot). Mood Exposure might just bump Benefit Dandelion from my holy grail makeup collection (not least of which, because Hourglass is cruelty free, whereas Benefit is not). It’s the perfect blend of color and highlight, and gives the right amount of glow to my cheeks. It makes me look fresh-faced and ready for the day every time I swipe it on.
I have the mini travel size and I can see it lasting for years, you don’t need much at all to get a good amount of color.
Not affiliate links.
Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a podcast 🙂
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this series. A few months ago, I read Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu and really enjoyed it. The Icons series reimagines the history behind the characters, going beyond the usual origin story. You don’t need to know everything about the characters to enjoy the stories; this is a modern takes on classic characters that encourages new readers. To comics fans I say, “They’re worth a read.” I’ve heard doubts about the YA rating, but these are YA only insofar as the characters are young and not yet established in their roles. Selena is 17 when the novel opens, 20 throughout the rest of the story. Bruce is 19 in Nightwalker. I’ve yet to read Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but she’s next on my list. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job of imagining a backstory that doesn’t involve sexual abuse, which is a major win in my book. Her Selena is different, but well-developed.
The only thing that could make this product more perfect is SPF. It’s the most perfect color match I’ve found in a green beauty product, no scent, not stickiness, it dries matte and doesn’t oxidize. I LOVE IT!
Uprooted was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I was ecstatic when I learned that there would be another work in Naomi Novik’s re-imagining of Eastern European fairy tales and folklore. This one concerns a Rumpelstiltskin like story. It’s a dark, compelling story and one I’m intrigued to finish.
This has genuinely become my go-to lipstick for every day. It’s sheer and glossy with just the right amount of color to look natural and put together. I also find that the formula lasts long and does not dry out my lips – win-win!
Affiliate links provide a tiny stipend that supports the podcast.
I have not been kind to myself this week. I’ve been sick. I’ve been sick for a long time, but in the last week, I’ve been really sick. And I forced myself to chug through it. I’ve been hard on myself for a lot of things: writing, fitness, lack of progress in both. I’ve beat myself up over it—especially the fitness part. I’ve fallen into a pattern of negative self-talk when it comes to my body. I’m physically tired in general, add a bout of tonsillitis and my energy is next to nil. I’m trying to slow down and be kinder. It takes a lot of work. This is me thinking through it and recognizing my baggage. It’s not easy.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a 5 things, and with the death of Polyvore, I’ve been thinking how to create new themes.
For today, I give you 5 of the Spotify PlaylistsI listen to when I need to focus on writing, or while working on projects where I crave no distractions.
Thor: Ragnarok soundtrack
This album is electronic, atmospheric, and just the right amount of adrenaline-pumping to get me going. Really good for writing action.
Late Night Jazz
This playlist works for me at any time of day, but particularly when I want to relax into writing and forget about everything else. I also enjoy this playlist when settling in for a good reading session.
The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack
Like the Thor soundtrack, this one is atmospheric enough to get me going, but smooth enough when I need to focus on words rather than pacing.
I listen to this at work. It’s my version of office muzak. Unobtrusive and easy to listen to when working in an office.
Sometimes I need something dark and sexy to set the tone.
I recently devoured Sarah J. Maas’s Court of Thorns and Roses series (minus the recently released novella, which I will remedy forthwith). Faeries, complex characters, and unexpected sexiness, this is the kind of story I wanted when New Adult became a thing (and completely failed to meet my expectation).
I also mention the series in the video below.
The heat is on and I’ve been feeling nostalgic. I decided to switch my usual RMS blush for an oldie but a goodie: Benefit Dandelion. I wore Dandelion for years (through college and beyond), but stopped using it after greening my makeup. It’s not clean; it’s not cruelty free; it is all things bad and evil, but I love the color and I can live with my poor choices.
Episode 10: Gotham by Gaslight (hosted by yours truly) is now available. This episode focuses on Gotham by Gaslight (the film and graphic novel) and general thoughts on BatCat.
Finished the Veronica Speedwell mysteries and now I’m in that weird space where I can’t find a book that lives up… In the meantime, I’m trying to find the time to read Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery (because as a woman who has been dismissed, misdiagnosed, and chronically sick, I want all the support I can get).
A few posts ago, I gushed about how much I love the Ilia lip conditioner in Pink Moon, then I started to suspect it was causing some irritation. I stopped using it for a few weeks and wore it again last week. Suspicion confirmed, it makes my lips look like I’ve been out in the cold too long. Really dry and red around the edges. I’m debating whether I should return to Sephora or give it away. It had such promise.
Other things I’m loving:
My InstantPot! My mom gave me a mini and I’m loving the speed and efficiency it provides. Even just using the saute function speeds up my meal prep and saves me the extra time and heating costs. (Old Florida apartments were not made for climate change temperatures. My apartment is hot and the kitchen heats up like you wouldn’t believe. Needless heat? No thank you.)
Minisode 8.5: Final thoughts on Star Wars/Spaceballs (and even Howl’s Moving Castle), favorites, and an announcement
In other news: The podcast is now available on Spotify!
Yep, I had to come back for more. This series is my new addiction and I can’t wait to pick up the next book from my library. (I’m currently #4 in line)
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
I ordered this one for my own library collection (ICYMI, I’m a librarian). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was intrigued by the idea of YA not-yet-superheroes and Marie Lu does not disappoint. Her Bruce reads like a real person with real doubts and these are all good things.
I tried the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer in Light and I think I finally found a color match. Not 100% green, but I don’t have a problem with the ingredients listed. It scores a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep database and feels really nice on the skin (it’s a cream to powder finish with physical SPF). I’m saving it for travel and ordering a full size.